Selecting a college major is a tough decision.
After all, you are choosing a field you might potentially be working in for the rest of your life.
It’s a difficult choice to make, especially before you’ve had a real taste of what that field entails.
All of this, along with the financial investments a college education entails, can make the idea of making the wrong choice daunting.
What happens if, after a couple of courses, you realize you’re on the wrong path?
It’s better late than never – you still have a chance to change your major into something you are better at, enjoy more, and can see yourself doing for a living.
To help students make the ultimate decision before switching gears, Questia, the premier online research and paper-writing tool for students, provides a few signs for knowing when it’s time to choose a new major.
5 Reasons Students Should Change Their Majors
1) Uninterested in Courses
After taking a few of the required courses for a specific major, if you’re still not interested in the topics, it may be time to switch gears.
While not every required course is going to be your favorite, the concepts should be something that you are inherently excited to learn more about.
If overall, you are studying a discipline or field you don’t find exciting or interesting, this may only demotivate you and negatively impact your learning.
If you are not enjoying what you are learning, the problem can carry over into your career too.
No one wants to be doing something they dislike for the rest of their lives – not only might you not perform as well as you could, but you would also not be happy.
If you can’t see yourself being happy studying this particular field or having a career in it, seriously consider changing to a major that you do find interesting, engaging, and motivating.
2) Struggling with Courses
It’s one thing to fall slightly behind on coursework; it’s another issue if you’re entirely unable to grasp the concepts.
One reason behind such struggles could be the fact that you might not have the right learning strategies to help you along.
Schools tell us what to learn, but often not how to learn.
Things from your personal learning style to memory techniques to how much sleep you’re getting are all scientifically-backed factors that influence your learning success.
Figure out your learning style and employ learning strategies to see if you can solve your confusion with a specific course or subject.
Seek the help of your professors, tutors, and seniors.
If you’re putting in your full effort and still aren’t able to succeed, it may be that this major isn’t the right match for you.
It might be time to reconsider your major.
3) Selected a Major for the Wrong Reason
If you felt pressured by family members to choose a specific major or followed a friend or significant other to their major, second-guessing your decision is natural.
Ultimately, it’s your life and your career path, and it’s hard to succeed when you selected a career path for the wrong reason.
If you can’t shake off the doubt that you are in the wrong field, and it is interfering with how well you are doing in your classes, maybe it’s time to consider changing majors to something you want to study.
4) You’re Only Afraid of the Extra Work
Switching majors will result in additional courses, which may require a student to take summer courses or stay an extra semester to catch up.
While it may seem undesirable to extend your college career, in the long run, it’s not a big deal.
Staying an extra semester and graduating with the degree you desire is better than second-guessing your career path immediately after graduation.
You are likely to perform better if it’s something you enjoy, and there will be less confusion and self-doubt when you are figuring out what type of job you’d like to do once you finish college.
You might be doubting your ability to learn something completely new – but don’t worry.
Neuroscientists have found again and again that the brain is exceptionally malleable for new knowledge and experiences.
Learning new things, in fact, improves brain growth, health, memory, and cognitive functioning, so you only stand to gain by learning more!
5) New Interests
Part of the college experience is taking electives that are outside your major.
It’s fun to explore other areas, which may result in new interests.
If you’re more interested in elective courses than required courses for your major, it may be smart to switch to something you’ll be happy perusing.
Keep in mind the long-term goals and explore the new major thoroughly before switching.
Remember, an elective would only give you a sample of what a major in that field would be like.
It may seem easier or more fun now in contrast to your current major, but don’t decide to switch without first thoroughly researching what it would entail.
There could be many reasons why students should change their major.
You might be struggling to understand classes, unhappy because you don’t find joy or fulfillment in them, and unsure if this is what you want to do for a living.
Before making the decision, make sure you fully research your alternatives and have realistic expectations.
Speak to college advisors and counselors, and your trusted family and friends whose advice you can count on.
If you are considering changing your major, has this article helped you make up your mind, or guided you toward a more informed decision?
We would love to know!
Questia saves students valuable time on research papers and projects. With Questia, students can accurately cite sources in multiple styles and organize their notes, research and sources all in one place. Librarians have specially selected Questia’s 77,000 academic books and 4 million journal articles—many of which are peer-reviewed. Since Questia is accessible 24/7, students can research any time of day from anywhere, with the confidence that they’re using credible content from trustworthy sources.
Cengage Learning is a leading provider of innovative teaching, learning and research solutions for the academic, professional and library markets worldwide. Questia, part of Cengage Learning, is the Web’s premier online collection of copyrighted fiction and non-fiction books, academic journals and research periodicals for students and includes integrated tools for note taking, organizing research, citing sources, creating footnotes and building bibliographies to help students write better research papers faster. For more information, visit www.Cengage.com or www.Questia.com.
[ Updated – October 5, 2020 ]